Trudi Elizabeth Lenio Chomenko
August 24, 1932 - July 4, 2002
Mother of 2
Grandmother of 4
Great-Grandmother of 5
Loved By All
My Personal Tribute To Mama
How do I begin? How do I contain Mama’s life into a few short moments?
On many occasions, Mama said she’d write her life story. Her life was so full...the book would have been thick. I guess she didn’t know where to begin either.
Mama! Our Mama!
There were times in my life when Mom and I had major differences of opinion. At one time the gap was so vast,
it seemed there was no bridge to span the gap.
I remember going to my then pastor, sat down and proceeded to moan and complain about the situation.
He listened and never spoke a word until I finished. He then made a simple but powerful statement...
which was " Your Mother is the one GOD chose just for you. If God wanted you to have a different one- you would have.
She is the best mother for you." He then suggested that I go home and think about that for a while and come back to see him after I had.
That statement stopped me in my tracks...because...God doesn’t make mistakes, we do.
I began to develop a more Godly and respectful attitude toward my mother and an appreciation for all the sacrifices she’d made for my brother and
as the mother of two children, I began to equate her sacrifices for us with my own. Mama passed on many valuable traits - she possessed so many.
She had a wonderful sense of humor. I MEAN wonderful. We’d come running to her with broken hearts or problems that seemed to have no answers.
I didn’t know Yeshua until I was in my twenties. I wasn’t yet leaning on him. Mama was it! Thank God for her.
She’d get all upset along with us because she hurt FOR us. Then she’d have an attitude like "Let me at ‘em….I’ll give ‘em a left and a right!"
Then as we went on she’d start smiling and say something really funny which allowed us to see the stupidity of complaining
and the value of DOING something about it. She knew we needed to be pushed from the nest but she was never far away like a Mama bird.
If we had trouble flying, she’d pick us up and encourage us to fly again.
Another of her qualities was the depth of her love. No matter how hurt she was or how angry she got about it…she always came around in the end.
She just couldn’t stay mad forever if she loved someone. No matter WHAT the crisis or how bad it was …she was THERE!
There are things Mama and I shared that will never be said to another. But I can tell you this...no one I know had the will she possessed…
as was evident in her 6 year battle with cancer. She wanted to live to see the year 2000..she did. She wanted to see her great-grandchildren- she did.
She and Pop even traversed the rope bridges with me at Jurassic Park in ’99.
Mama had a beautiful voice before she got sick. She could sing the blues like you wouldn’t believe. She loved music and she loved hymns.
I think my brother and I were born singing…or were we cackling…either way...she loved to hear it. She LOVED to have fun.
Mama and I once went to a classical concert at The Mann Music Center in Philly. Part of it is outdoors, which is where we were.
It began to pour! I mean to say...it poured cats and dogs. We were drenched...soaked...saturated. She didn't complain...
we just giggled until we slid down the concrete pole laughing like 3 year olds.
She and I also went to see Barry Manilow there a few years later. It was a beautiful summer evening in July.
They were shooting off fireworks in the distance at Penn's Landing. She said to me,
" If you weren't my daughter, this would be really romantic, but I'll hold your hand anyway."
What a funny lady!
She loved her grandchildren. When she and Pop would come to be with my Alicia & Stephen or Joe’s Marc and Nikki…
she didn’t just watch them…she taught them valuable lessons. And she married a wonderful man who became
more of a Dad than my own father….and that’s my Pop Jim. They loved us, our children and grandchildren….together.
When mama wanted to do something for us...he never refused her .
His love is so special also.
Mom met many famous people in her life as a waitress for many summer’s at the Jersey shore…and she sang with some also.
But she never bragged about it, just enjoyed it and laughed. She also went through many hard times in her life….she was quite poor as a child but you’d never know it…
She never had an " I am poor attitude." She might have been broke but she was never poor.
She always made sure Joe and I had everything we needed. We weren’t spoiled and we both worked hard because she taught us the value of hard work.
Mom also had a greeting card factory. She never made money from it…it’s just that she sent so many cards to so many people that we all thought she did.
If you were down, up or in between she’d send you a card anyway…just because. If you were down , you’d likely get TWO.
One would encourage you and one to make you laugh. And when she wrote you a letter, you felt as though she was there with you in person….
she put her heart & soul into it.
Mom is leaving a legacy that is among the most important a person can leave…that of love, laughter, wittiness, generosity and faith in God.
Mom believed in miracles. She had quite a few in her life. The biggest miracle was when she gave her life completely to Yeshua shortly before her death.
Mama was strong- willed and it was hard for her to not to help or be able change a situation in life. She passed that on too. :o)
But like the thief on the cross...at the eleventh hour…God saved her just because she asked and because HE returned all the love to her that she’d given to others.
Praise His name. He DOES have a crown of glory waiting for all of us...no matter where we’ve been, who we are or how far we’ve strayed.
Like Mama…and even more so...He’s always willing to take us back and forgive us…no matter what. All we have to do is ask and He is there…just like Mama was.
Though she will be loved and missed forever in this life…she is the fortunate one….she has the privilege of resting in Yeshua
and will not have to deal with any more pain, sorrow, hurt or trials…as we will. Don’t grieve, but rather, cheer…
she has graduated from the school of life and we are left behind to carry on the wonderful legacy she has left…the legacy of love…
which is SO needed in this empty world.
God Bless you all. Thank you for your prayers, cards, love, encouragement and thoughtfulness through Mom’s illness and passing.
You’ve helped us to continue…knowing there are STILL wonderful people in this world.
Also see Always My Mama
"I am the living bread which came down from heaven.
If anyone eats of this bread, he will live for ever"